Jesus, Big Tony, and Me
“Hold on,” I shouted, flipping the shower curtain aside. My foot slipped on the tub and I bashed my leg. “Goddamn!” I looked at my knee expecting to see a large black and blue mark. Nothing, but it hurt like hell so I rubbed it with my hand. “Coming,” I hollered, wrapping a white terry towel around my middle and tracking wet footprints on my glistening hardwood.
“Who is it?” I stuck my wet eye to the peephole.
What? I rubbed at my eye. Jesus? The only Jesus I knew played baseball and pronounced his name Hay-soos.
“Jesus Christ. You and I need to talk.”
My eye cleared. I saw this big fat guy with hairy arms and a dirty white smock. “Show me your face.” My body started to tingle. I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought of the Holy Ghost.
He turned, revealing a bushy, stringy beard.
“All right,” I said, “Who are you?”
He reached into a fold of his smock and extracted a wallet. “Here’s my driver’s license.” He pulled out a blue plastic card and held it toward the peephole. The picture was of a younger, thinner man, but there was a resemblance.
“It’s not a good picture,” He said. “They never are.”
“How come Jesus Christ needs a driver’s license?”
“I don’t. You asked for ID–I thought I’d show you something familiar.”
“How about a birth certificate?”
“Clever.” He pulled out a card that looked like Amex or VISA Gold. “This one’s hard to read. I’ll shove it under your door.”
I looked down. A corner stuck through.
“Pull from your side. It seems stuck.”
I bent down. “Hey, wait a minute, if you’re really Jesus Christ, why did you have to shove it under the door? Couldn’t you like poof it through?”
“Like magic, you know, POOF!”
“I suppose so. I never thought of that.”
The card started to glow. I jumped back. The card skittered back into the hallway. “Holy shit,” I yelled.
” “There’s some weird shit going on.”
“It’s a small miracle. You sounded like you wanted to see something Copperfieldian.”
I stuck my eye back to the peephole. “The trouble I’m having man is that you don’t look like Jesus.”
“What did you think I’d look like?”
“Well, you know, all white and stuff.”
“I’m wearing a white top. Isn’t that good enough?”
“I thought you’d be shiny.”
“Glowy, you know–a glowy halo.”
“I don’t think ‘glowy’ is a word.”
“Hey, I let Copperfieldian pass, you should let glowy pass.”
“I’m heir to Him. I’m allowed to make up words. You’re not.”
“Well, you don’t look like the pictures I’ve seen.”
“Book or film?”
“Both. I have read the Bible you know, and I saw The Ten Commandments and some TV specials, like at Easter.”
“Yes, I know.”
“Do you really know everything, like do you spy on everyone, even in their bedrooms?”
“We don’t think of it as spying.”
“So you know about-uh–that girl last night?”
“Yes, I do, and that’s why I’m here. Please open the door.”
I figured if I didn’t, he’d just pop through, or Bulldog Air Freshener more likely knock it down, make a lot of noise, and piss off the neighbors, so I opened the door. He stepped in. I smelled an odor like the camel I’d ridden once when I visited Egypt, and his white smock was even dirtier than I first noticed.
“I’m having trouble getting past your appearance. I mean look at your smock. It’s filthy.”
“It’s a robe.”
“Robe, schmobe, it isn’t fresh smelling.” I thought better of telling him He smelled like a camel, you know, just in case He really was the Big J.
“I have traveled a great distance.”
“And look at your feet. Who wears socks with sandals?”
“Is that all?”
“Frankly, no; you look more like Sam, my butcher.”
“Because he wears socks with his sandals?”
“Because you’re both fat.”
“I’m not sure I like the word ‘fat.'”
“Why, didn’t your Father invent it?”
“Oh, He invented it all right. He invented all words–well, except the ones your President makes up. It’s just that my Father didn’t intend that ‘fat’ be used to describe people, particularly me.”
Bright lightning zigzagged across the sky and hit the ground. I looked out the window in time to see my apple tree explode. A clap of thunder shook the house. I dove into the closet.